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After arriving in Edinburgh the evening before the Ultrawife and I enjoyed a lie in, a great breakfast, and then took off to explore the city. We did all the sights, walked a lot, and we were thankful for the big winter coats that we had purchased before taking this trip. The Castle was fantastic, Princes Street busy with the pre-Christmas sales, and the food at lunchtime was great, too.

In the late afternoon the Ultrawife took a break to relax a little in our wonderful hotel – The Glasshouse, highly recommend this one – and I took a short break to make the run that anyone heading to Edinburgh who enjoys running just¬†has to make: the climb to Arthur’s Seat.

Perched above the city, Arthur’s Seat is the high point in Edinburgh and offers wonderful view of the city and surrounds. It’s not a high hill, but it proved to be challenging underfoot as some recent rain had left it slippery and, in parts, boggy. No problem for me and my Terra Kiger’s but there were more than a few tourists I spotted having trouble on the way down as their street shoes slipped beneath them. Think about your footwear, people: it might be a popular tourist attraction but it’s still a muddy trail!

The run down to Arthur’s Seat was selected based on my typical ‘don’t get lost in an unfamiliar city’ basis. I headed into the city center, then took a road straight down to the Scottish Parliament building and there, just as I made the turn at the base of the descent, was Arthur’s Seat. It was a nice, runnable first section, then some narrower heavier sections, but the climb didn’t take too much out of me and was certainly something that could be handled by most anyone. Certainly, if I get the chance to return with the Ultraboy one day, it’s something he could manage without a problem.

At the top it was a little more rocky and crowded. I stopped to take a few photos of the surrounding land and the city down below, and I snapped one of the crows that seemed to have made the summit their home, too. A few deep breaths and it was down again for me, dodging tourists slipping their way down the hill, and trusting the small lugs on the bottom of the Terra Kiger’s to keep me on my feet. A couple of rocks to jump over, a couple of steps to negotiate, and then it was back to the Parliament and time to turn for home.

Instead of heading back up the way I had come, I took a different route back to the hotel up another hill. It was a little less gradual but it was fun to run, and there was a nice flat section along the top as I ran towards Conic Hill. A twist, a turn to the left, and I was back where I had begun and just a short elevator ride from a hot shower and, not long after, a nice warm Italian meal within sight of the Castle. 

Not a bad place to run at all.

Distance: 7km
Elevation: 264m
Time: 42:49
Pace: 6:06/km